Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Week 9

Tortellini Gratinata with Mushrooms and Parsnip Bechamel
(adapted ever so slightly from Bon Appetit, serves 10)
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2" thick rounds
2 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, divided
freshly grated nutmeg
4 1/2 Tbs butter, divided
1 1/4 lb crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried and crushed)
24 oz cheese-filled tortellini
6 oz creamy Gorgonzola dolce cheese, cut into small pieces

Cook parsnips in boiling salted water until very tender, about 20 mins. Drain. Transfer parsnips to food processor and add 1 1/2 cups milk. Blend until smooth, then add remaining 1 cup milk through feed tube as processor is running. Add 3/4 cup parmesan cheese and nutmeg, blend well. Return sauce to saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced to about 3 cups, whisking often, about 5 mins. Season bechamel sauce to taste w/salt and pepper.

Melt 2 1/2 Tbs butter in heavy large skillet over med heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, rosemary and saute until brown and tender, about 6 mins. Season to taste w/S&P.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 12-cup capacity baking dish. Cook pasta according to package just to al dente. Drain and return to pot. Add remaining 2 Tbs butter and toss to coat. Stir in mushroom mixture. Transfer pasta to prepared baking dish. Spread bechamel sauce over and sprinkle w/gorgonzola  and remaining 1/4 cup parmesan. Bake until heated through and bubbling, about 20 mins. Turn oven to broil and brown the top for about 2 mins, or until desired level of brown-ness is reached. Let stand 10 mins before serving.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls (adapted from All Recipes)
12 leaves cabbage
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup minced onion
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil cabbage leaves 2 minutes; drain (alternatively, I read that you can freeze the whole head, then when you pull it out and thaw it, it will be wilted and soft, eliminating the need to boil the leaves first).
  2. In large bowl, combine cooked rice, egg, milk, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, minced onion, ground beef, salt, and pepper. Place about 1/4 cup of meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, and roll up, tucking in ends. Place rolls in slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over cabbage rolls.
  4. Cover and cook on Low 8 to 9 hours.
Gourmet Chili (12 servings)
EVOO for sauteeing
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef or bison or a combination
4 oz Italian sausage, without casings
4 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground corriander
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
15 oz can tomato sauce
30 oz beef broth or stock
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 can beer
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans (or use a total of 3 cups cooked beans)

Saute onions and garlic. Add meat and cook through, breaking up. Add spices and saute one minute to release flavors. Add remaining ingredients except beans, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. Add beans and heat through. Makes 12 servings (freeze half for another week)!

Spicy Tangerine Beef (4 servings, from the All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook)
4 tangerines or 3 navel oranges
1 large bunch broccoli, cut into florets and stalks peeled and sliced
3 Tbs grapeseed or coconut oil
12 oz boneless beef top sirloin steak or top round steak, thinly sliced crosswise
2 Tbs plus 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbs water
3 green onions, cut on diagonal into 2" pieces
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs minced peeled fresh ginger
3 Tbs soy sauce
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Peel one tangerine, then hold over small bowl and cut on either side of membranes to release each section, allowing fruit and juice to drop into bowl. Set aside. With vegetable peeler, remove 8 strips (about 3"x 3/4" each) peel from remaining tangerines. With knife, remove any remaining white pith from your peel strips. Squeeze 3/4 cup juice and set aside.

 In 12" skillet or wok, melt oil until very hot. Add strips of tangerine peel and cook until lightly browned, about 3 mins. Transfer to large bowl.

Toss beef with 2 Tbs cornstarch, coating evenly. Add beef to wok (in batches if necessary) and stir fry until crisp and lightly browned on both sides, about 5 mins. Use slotted spoon to transfer beef to bowl w/peel as it's done. Add broccoli and water to skillet. Reduce heat to med, cover and cook 2 mins. Increase heat to high, remove cover, and add green onions and red pepper. Stir fry about 2 mins, add garlic and ginger and stir fry another min.

Meanwhile, combine 3/4 cup tangerine juice, soy sauce, crushed red pepper and remaining 1/2 tsp cornstarch. Stir to blend. Stir into wok and stir fry until sauce has thickened and boils. Return beef and peel to wok, add citrus sections and juice from bowl; toss to combine.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop


  1. Jenna, i love the idea of your blog! I just wanted to pop over and say hello. I am from Circle of Moms!

  2. Thanks, Amie! I'm so glad you stopped on by :)